Hearth and Home

I’m never sure what to call this place where I live. A farm, a farmette, a hobby venture? I’ve been here almost 30 years and I’ve never come up with a description or name that was an exact fit. My family called it The Farm. My friends often refer to it as Maggie’s Farm, although that one’s clearly been taken. Mr. Badger dubbed it Snow Water Farm from the local name Conneaut, which is reported to mean very cold water. Whatever you call it, what I do know is that on an August afternoon in 1982, this land claimed me and I will belong to it until I die.


The farm house when my parents purchased the property in 1982.

We were on our way to the mall that day when my mother decided to stop and show me some property my parents had just purchased from Dad’s Uncle Cecil’s estate.  My parents bought The Farm,  located in Crawford County, Pennsylvania on  May 10, 1982.  It wasn’t really a farm; it was thirty-three acres, twenty open and thirteen wooded, with a small, sway-backed house, several outbuildings that were home to litters of groundhog pups, and assorted apple, pear, peach, and cherry trees.  My dad remembered picnics and family reunions there with his parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  It belonged to my father’s uncle and aunt, Marcella and Cecil Schumacher, or as I knew them, Aunt Sallie and Uncle Cecil.

As we pulled in the driveway that afternoon, my mother promised we wouldn’t stay long.  She just wanted me to see the place.  Feeling put upon, I opened the car door and went to get out, and as my foot made contact with the grass in the driveway, I felt what I thought was an electric current shoot up my leg.  I pulled my foot back into the car.  I thought for a moment that I had actually been shocked somehow.  Mom didn’t notice.  She was already out of the car and standing in the back yard talking about apple and pear trees and where they were going to put the garden.   “It looks really nice,” I said through the open car window, “but we need to get going.”

I didn’t know that what I had felt was energy; I wouldn’t learn about grounding or energy flow for another ten years, but I felt it just the same.   This land and I forged a bond that day, and though I’ve tried to break it off a couple of times, it’s been my longest-running personal relationship. It has seen me through the heart break of miscarriages and the joy of births, two and four-legged.  It has thrown up road blocks and then steered me in the right direction.  It has sustained me and healed the depression that dominated my young adult life.  Living here has been endlessly fascinating, frustrating, and humbling.  This land has saved my life.


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